So, a lot of the albums that I review are listened to in a certain process to be able to hear and experience an album in a variety of situations. There is use of in ear and over ear headphones, played through the phone speaker, through the tv’s speakers, etc. One of the main ones that I enjoy the most is when my amazing wife and I go for a ride somewhere in our car and we just turn the volume up and go. There is just something about cruising along the river valley highways I live around that makes experiencing an album something that much more special, well, that is if it is a rather good album. It also makes things rather clear pretty quickly if the album is flawed, for lack of a better term. But let’s get back to the later, when stars align and the motions of driving/riding intersect perfectly with the piece of art coming through the speakers. From the moment that Verwoed’s “De val” started until it’s last note rings out we were transfixed, locked in and mesmerized by what we were experiencing sonically and physically.
Who do you ask is behind this outstanding, moving piece of blackened art titled “De val?” Well, Verwoed happens to be a one man band, for recordings that is, live is covered with the help of hired hands, from Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands. With main man, Erik B., behind everything that is written and usually everything that is recorded but this time, with “De val,” he got a session drummer, Joris Nijenhuis from Atrocity and Leaves’ Eyes fame, to really get, what I feel is, a great, organic drum sound. Hell, everything on this album sounds outstanding, the synths, guitars, bass, vocals and drums. Absolutely everything can be heard and distinguished yet it all melds together to create an atmosphere that is enveloping and overwhelming, in a good way.
Well, we have all come this far and have yet to really talk about or explain what the musical compositions within “De val” sounds like besides the “blackened art” hint I dropped above. And that is really what Verwoed produces, a form of Black Metal that truly transcends the genre and is just downright musical art. For art is meant to strike us with it’s beauty and emotion and no matter how ugly or magnificent that it is presented and that, that is what Verwoed’s “De val” is in a nutshell. It is Black Metal and it is fucking beautiful. You could call it Progressive or Post-Black here and there if you were to be picky but the foundation is still Black Metal through and through. And, again, it is fucking beautiful. (Ben Schultz)